29 November 2015

Bank apps riddled with security holes - researchers

13 January 2014  |  10347 views  |  0 Mobile banking on smartphone

Many of the world's biggest banks have serious security flaws in their mobile apps which could leave customers - and the banks themselves - vulnerable to attackers, research from IOActive suggests.

IOActive researcher Ariel Sanchez used iPhones and iPads to test 40 home banking apps from some of the biggest financial institutions around the world.

The testing found that 90% of the apps contain non-SSL links, enabling any attacker to intercept traffic and inject code in an attempt to create a fake login prompt or similar scam.

Meanwhile, half of the apps are vulnerable to JavaScript injections via insecure UIWebView implementations. In some cases, the native iOS functionality is exposed, allowing crooks to do things like send SMS or e-mails from the victim's device.

Many apps - 40% - do not validate the authenticity of SSL certificates presented, leaving them open to man-in-the-middle attacks. Nearly three quarters also don't have multi-factor authentication, which could help to mitigate the risk of impersonation attacks.

IOActive says that it has contacted some of the banks about vulnerabilities but argues that the entire industry needs to step up its efforts to protect customers.

Among its suggestions are that all connections are performed using secure transfer protocols, SSL certificate checks are enforced, and the iOS data protection API is used to encrypt sensitive data.

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board, sign up now.

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)

Related stories

05 December, 2013
12 August, 2013
02 November, 2012
22 July, 2011
08 November, 2010
27 July, 2010

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
BBVA buys 29.5% stake in Atom for £45...
7926 views comments | 34 tweets | 41 linkedin
Former Barclays chief forecasts massive jo...
6601 views comments | 29 tweets | 32 linkedin
BNP Paribas to test contactless payment di...
6220 views comments | 17 tweets | 25 linkedin
WeChat launches mobile wallet in South Afr...
5640 views comments | 18 tweets | 15 linkedin
Hilton confirms data breach
5582 views comments | 11 tweets | 17 linkedin

Featured job

Competitive Package
New York City, NY. USA

Find your next job